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Twitter Calls Out a 'Creepy' Anniversary for the Shining

Celebration of photo shown at the film's end renews talk about the fate of Jack Nicholson's character
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2021 10:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Fans of The Shining have another anniversary to celebrate Sunday: "100 years ago today. It was Kicking at the Overlook Hotel," one tweet said. The merriment was captured in the "Overlook Hotel July 4th Ball 1921" photo that fills the screen at the end of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film. As another tweet this weekend says, the black-and-white party shot sparked "wild theories" about what the photo meant, Fox News reports. In it, Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, stands in the foreground—though the photo is dated decades before the film's fully mad Torrance terrorized his family at the hotel. It's shown after Torrance's wife and son escape and Torrance freezes to death, his soul apparently restored to the hotel and his body vanished, per the RogerEbert review. The photo appears genuine because it almost is, with Nicholson's head installed on a real partier's body.

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"I've always believed Jack was doomed to be reincarnated over and over only to wind up at the Overlook to meet his fate," one tweet said. Kubrick endorsed that interpretation, per the Take, saying, "The ballroom photograph at the very end suggests the reincarnation of Jack." That also would seem to be telegraphed early in the film, when his caretaking predecessor told Torrance: "You are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker. I should know, sir; I've always been here." The creepiness lives on: A woman touring Colorado's Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for the Overlook, said she took a photograph that she later noticed showed a ghostlike girl or woman in a window, wearing an old-timey dress or nightgown, per the Sun. The tourist said the photo was taken in May, per KKTV. Fans of the film reminded each other this weekend to celebrate the party photo's anniversary. "Remember: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!" one posted. (Read more The Shining stories.)

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